Here are the top news, trends, and analysis investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stock futures flat as investors grapple with a barrage of profits
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, USA on October 20, 2021.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
2. Microsoft, Alphabet reports better than expected results
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corp.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Dow stock Microsoft rose 2% early Wednesday morning after slightly beating first-quarter earnings and earnings estimates. Microsoft benefited from the significant growth in its cloud computing business.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai gestures during a meeting at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on January 22, 2020 in Davos.
Fabrice COFFRINI | AFP | Getty Images
Alphabet shares were under slight pressure in pre-trading. The Google mother late Tuesday reported revenue and earnings that were above estimates. However, Google’s YouTube ad revenue and cloud revenue were below estimates.
3. Robinhood stocks are falling as crypto trading slows down
Robinhood shares fell nearly 10% below their IPO price this morning after suffering a huge drop in sales in the third quarter when cryptocurrency trading collapsed. Robinhood posted a much higher adjusted quarterly loss than expected. The company also said that, unless the market environment changes, headwinds that dragged down last quarter – like lower retail activity – will persist until the end of the year.
4. FDA panel recommends Covid vaccinations for younger children
Safeway pharmacist Ashley McGee fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 booster at a booster clinic in San Rafael, California on October 01, 2021.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
A key advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration has recommended a lower dose of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for children ages 5-11. For the shots to begin, approval is required from the entire FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which could be in a matter of days.
This illustration photo, taken in Poland in October 2021, shows medicine pills with the Merck logo on a screen in the background.
Jakub Porzycki | NurPhoto | Getty Images
Merck has signed a licensing agreement with a United Nations-backed public health organization that provides affordable global access to molnupiravir, the US drugmaker’s promising oral antiviral pill for the treatment of Covid. Molnupiravir was invented at Emory University and licensed to Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, which has partnered with Merck.
5. Democrats unveil the billionaires’ tax to pay the Biden agenda
The U.S. Capitol photographed in Washington, DC on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.
Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Senate Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a new billionaires tax proposal, an entirely new entry in the tax bill that aims to help pay for President Joe Biden’s comprehensive domestic package and move his party closer to an overall deal. The billionaires’ proposal, coupled with a new corporate minimum tax of 15%, would provide alternative sources of income Biden needs to win party holdouts.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all market activity like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest on the pandemic with coronavirus coverage from CNBC.